Amp Sims

Hi, I’m really having a blast getting back into learning guitar. I’ve managed to get some reasonable equipment (yes GAS is a thing :slight_smile: ), but now I’m really interested in using the Cakewalk software I have, to run backing tracks, drum beats etc and I’ve been researching amp sims so that I can just plug my guitar into my interface and still get some nice sounds through Cakewalk. I’ve looked at a few such as Guitar Rig, Amplitube, S-gear and Neural DSP. A pension means I’m budget limited so want to invest wisely. Any recommendations would be greatly appreciated. Thank you :slight_smile:


Which DAW are you using? Is Cakewalk a DAW? Most DAWs will come with amp sims that you can use as is or tweak to your liking. Garageband has plenty of good ones if you are on a Mac. There are free plugins as well.

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Check here: Plugins - Neural DSP

They make some killer plugins, for various types of amps. Each package can be used in a DAW, but also as a stand-alone application for when you just want to practice. They also come with everything you need for cab simulation and most common effects (compressor, boost, eq, reverb, delay and chorus typically).

If they are above budget you can also keep an eye on sales…

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Cakewalk is the DAW I’m using. It’s free and seems to do what I want. I can put midi drum and bass tracks in, but I’m looking to be able to get some decent guitar tones in there, which is the main reason I’m researching the ones mentioned in my initial post. I’m leaning towards S-Gear at the moment.

Thanks, I’ve been looking at those as well, I’m pretty torn between one of their products or the S-Gear. The main reason I’m leaning towards S-Gear is because it has 4 amps to choose from rather than just the one in the Neural DSP line of products. I’d be happy with a Neural DSP if I can get the amp sound I’m looking for. I only have one physical amp head and can get what I want from that, so a single virtual amp should be okay as long as I can get the pedals to build my clean, rhythm and leads sounds.

Hey Carl,

I’ve been using S Gear for a while now, and its brilliant. Don’t use anything else now. Awesome, endless tones. The amps/ cabs are truly top notch, and give you an enormous palette to work from. And Mike’s about to release a compressor to go with the recent, and awesome drive pedal.

Cheers, Shane

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I’ve been using the free version of Amplitude and Blue Cat with Reaper (my DAW) to record my practice sessions. The free version has enough amps, effects and cabinets to keep it interesting for now. Last night I recorded chord progressions so I could play them back and practice lead licks over the top.

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I have Bias FX2, mid spec licence, it works ok no complaints.

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I’ve been pretty happy with Tonelib GFX, which also comes with some nice practice tools.



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You might know this already, but just in case, cakewalk has some built in guitar amps, cabinets and effects pedals.
Here is a video explaining how to use them.


I used Amplitube free for a while, and that got me pretty far. Has a handful of built in amps and pedals, and you can’t argue with free.

Once you start going down the amp sim rabbit hole… well I went down that a while ago, and then looked at the cost of decent amp sims and physical pedals to control them, and it was cheaper to buy a real modelling amp with pedals and plug it into the PC. Bizarrely.